The Owners of Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Home Are Suing for the Right to Demolish It

The owners of Marilyn Monroe’s final home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, want the 1929-built structure demolished and are now taking legal action to make it happen. In September, the city council voted unanimously to consider the home for historic-cultural monument status, halting the demolition plans of the current homeowners, real estate heiress Brinah Milstein and her husband, television producer Roy Bank. The LA Times reports that the couple filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles last week, arguing that they have the right to demolish the structure and that it isn’t qualified for monument status.

Milstein and Bank own a neighboring property and were looking to expand their compound when they bought the Hollywood icon’s former Spanish Colonial in August for $8.35 million. The couple’s lawyer, Peter C. Sheridan, said that the city used a “corrupt process to guarantee their preferred outcome rather than engaging in a neutral and fair process,” in a statement to the New York Times.

A 1962 image shows the home’s backyard and swimming pool.

Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

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According to the outlet, the lawsuit alleges that a number of changes made to the home in the six decades since Monroe died on the premises have left little behind that nods to her residency. “There is not a single piece of the house that includes any physical evidence that Ms. Monroe ever spent a day at the house, not a piece of furniture, not a paint chip, not a carpet, nothing,” the lawsuit claims.

The city’s pending application for the hacienda’s historic monument status, in contrast, claims that most of the changes to the building happened before Monroe’s tenancy. “The subject property is the first and only residence Monroe ever purchased by herself, and represents a portion of her productive period and an embarkation on a new phase of her life,” the document asserts. Casement windows, beamed ceilings, and terra-cotta tiles are among the home’s original details that remain intact.

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